Epson Expression Printer Review

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

Epson review 2

When I was asked to write a review on the Epson Expression Premium XP-520 Small-in-One printer I was thrilled! My old printer is on it’s last leg, and anytime I had to print a document (not to mention any sort of image), I cringed. My old printer is slow, loud and glitchy. So when this Epson Expression XP-520 printer showed up on my doorstep, it felt like an early Christmas !  :) I’m so glad I received the Epson Expression Printer to review…it’s a dream come true!

I think that the term Small-in-One describes the Epson XP-520 printer to a tee. This printer is compact and packed with cool features including:

- Lab-qualityPhoto printing (super quick and superior quality)
- Traditional and 2-sided printing (the trees will thank you)
- Built-in Memory Card slots
- Lined, Graph and Music Paper and Calendar Templates
- Scan to Facebook with EasyScan 

Set up and Installation:

Setting up the printer was easy and straightforward. Epson does a great job making sure you will understand the simple steps to get your printer up and running. Once I had the computer unpacked and  the ink cartridges in place, the initial set up was done. The software installation will vary depending on whether you own a PC or Mac. During this process I made the mistake of not realizing that Epson had a tab called “Recommended for You”. From there I would have been able to download all the drivers and utilities I needed with one click. But since I didn’t see this option, I spent a long time installing each one individually. I guess should have known that when they Epson says Smart-in-One, they probably mean Smarter-than-You ;)

Printing:

With my first prints I made a few rookie mistakes like placing the glossy paper with the glossy side up and later selecting the wrong paper size. I guess I should have paid more attention when the printer asked me if I wanted to change paper size on the settings (I totally missed this the first time around!).

But once I got the hang of it, let me tell you what a joy it was to print my first real projects with this printer.

I started with the traditional 4×6 photo. I printed one with the borderless option because this is what I would normally get when I print my photos at any photo center. I also printed an 8×10 print, because I wanted to see how the quality would hold up once the image got larger. Both these images were printed on Premium Photo Glossy paper. Take a look at a photo of my photos:

 

Cody Daisy 2

8×10 color photo, 4×6 color photo (the picture on the right is supposed to only have color on the t-shirt!)

So even though the Expression XP-520 has so many more features, after only trying the traditional photo print, I was hooked! The photos printed super quickly, the printer was relatively quiet, and the quality was comparable (or even better) than the prints I’ve ordered online! I was able to take the pictures out of the tray immediately and there was no drying time.

Next, I tried printing a photo of some water lilies on some Matte Premium Presentation paper. I was trying to be a bit more artistic so I selected the image so that it would be “framed” by a white border. I am not sure if it was the setting I selected, the paper or something else, but I did notice that the colors (especially the green) did not come through as I expected. However, the resulting photo looked very sophisticated, and it would actually look beautiful in a 11×14 frame, no matting needed! I decided to print the same picture on glossy paper to see the difference, and sure enough, the resulting image’s color were more vivid and the green leaves looked like the original photo. You can see here the difference between these two:

 

epson - lilies

The 8×10 image looks super artsy! The 4×6 is a great traditional photo.

One feature that I had read about is the ability to print pictures from my phone straight to the Epson Expression Printer XP-520. In order to do this, I downloaded the Mopria app on to my phone, and then paired it with the printer. I had read some complaints about the app not pairing with the computer, but I think this is because some people haven’t connected the printer to their wireless network. For me, it worked just fine! This is a feature I know I will use frequently, because anymore I primarily only use my phone to take pictures.

The Expression Premium XP-520 also works as a traditional printer, and I tested it by printing some text documents on to regular paper. The result was a crisp, clean and professional-looking page. I was having so much fun discovering all the features that when I saw I could also print graph paper with the touch of a button, I couldn’t  resist myself. I tell you, this has got to be the most beautiful graph paper I have ever seen! The graph paper I got is indistinguishable from the highest quality graph paper you can buy at an office supply store. I sure could have used this feature when my kids were in middle school and kept running out of paper at the exact time that we came home from running errands!

Even though I was given a free Expression Premium XP-520 in exchange for this review, I wholeheartedly recommend you consider buying this printer if you are in the market for a new one. In the past I wouldn’t have thought of giving a printer as a present, but this Epson changed my mind! This printer would make a great gift for teens or adults alike because it goes above and beyond printing, copying or scanning documents.

Priced at under $130 this the Expression Premium XP-52o is an affordable and reliable option that I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase and give to any one that is in need of a printer this Christmas. Not to mention, you will save money by printing all of those Holiday Cards!


Make up to $21 when you Upgrade to an iPhone 6 (Exp. 10/18)

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

iphone 6 walmart

 

I have seen many great incentives to upgrade to an iPhone 6, but I haven’t seen one as good as this deal from Walmart! From now until October 18th  when you trade in an eligible smartphone at Walmart you will get double the trade-in value. This doubling combined with a sale on iPhone 6 (a 16GB iPhone 6 is only $179) makes it possible for you to actually make money! You must be eligible for an upgrade in order to take advantage of this offer.

For example, if your used smartphone is worth $100 or more, Walmart will  give you  a $200 Walmart gift card during this promotion. And since a new iPhone is now on sale for $179, you will actually be making $21 with this deal! In order to trade in your phone it must not have a cracked screen, water damage, it must be fully functional and all locks must be removed.

You can check the trade-in value of your smartphone on this page. This promotion is good at Walmart stores and only through October 18th.


Walmart| Top 10 Best Selling Laptops

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

Top10BestSellingLaptopsatWalmart
I have had a few friends ask for the best deals on Laptops over the past few days. So instead of keeping the deals to myself (well and my friends!) I figured I’d go ahead and share with you! These are all 4+ Star ratings so they have great reviews. We are trying to keep that in mind as we are finding deals from here on out, we heard what you are saying ;)

So here at the Top 10 Best Selling Laptops (and Chromebooks) at Walmart right now:

1. 17.3″ Toshiba Satellitte C75D, $498

2. 11.6″ (Silver) Dell Inspiron 11-3147, $449

3.  14″ HP Pavillion Touchsmart 14, $338 (I’ve been thinking about one of these, but, I think I need a larger screen!)

4. 14″ HP Chromebook with Intel Processor 4GB, $319-$349 (varies according to the color)

5. Refurbished 11.6″ Acer C720, $172.35 (this is the most inexpensive one at the moment)

6. 15.6″ Dell Inspiron 15, $498

7. 11.6″ Samsung Silver Chromebook, $229

8. 17.3″ Dell Fire Red Inspiron i5735322, $528 (this is the priciest but also has the biggest screen)

9. 15.6″ Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV (Black Matte), $399.98

10. Refurbished 17.3″ HP Pavillion (Anodized Silver), $450.52

Now keep in mind that if you need a laptop now these are great options. However, I expect to see laptops on sale during Black Friday. Walmart typically has a handful of laptops available for a great price, but their supply is limited and only so many are sold at each store.

The majority of these laptops are available to In Store Pick Up today and always ship free to your home or with Site To Store Shipping!

 

 


Huge 24-hour Sale on Samsung Electronics (Phones, Tablets and More) Exp. 9/24

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

70  Off Samsung   Groupon

Through September 28th Groupon will be having HOT deal available for only 24 hours! Today’s deal is all about Samsung phones, tablets, and accessories up to 70% OFF! I have been looking to get a new phone for my son but he’s not eligible for an upgrade until December 2015. And I am ecstatic to see that I can get a Samsung Galaxy S3 for only $150 unlocked. I realize that this phone is refurbished but I have good experiences with refurbished electronics in the past so I am not overly concerned with this. This sale expires September 24th at midnight!

Aside from phones, this Samsung Sale includes accessories like:

Shatterproof Screen Protectors for $8.99 ($79.99 value)
Otterbox Armor Case for Samsung and iPhones $19.99 ($99.99 value)
Samsung Smart Blu-Ray Player – new $59.99 (reg. 79.99)
Samsung 55″ Ultra HD 3D Smart LED TV $1679.99 (reg. $4497.99)

Be sure to check back every day  to see what Groupon’s Sale of the Day is! I am guessing that the items will sell out fast, considering they are so deeply discounted and only available for 24 hours.


Get a FREE iPhone 6 (Verizon and AT&T) with Eligible Upgrade (Exp 9/30)

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

iphone6

If you’ve been waiting to upgrade your smartphone until now, you will be glad to know that the wait has paid off! I am delighted to share the news that you can get a new iPhone 6 for FREE when you trade in a working iPhone 4, 4s, iPhone 5, 5c or 5s.  Please check with Verizon Wireless or AT&T on the details of this promotion. Please keep in mind that this is NOT an early upgrade program, you must be eligible for an upgrade to be able to get your FREE iPhone 6.

This is the information on getting a FREE iPhone 6 that I obtained  from the Verizon Website:

Customers can get a 16GB iPhone 6 with a new, two-year contract when they trade in any iPhone 4, 4s, iPhone 5, or iPhone 5c in good working condition for a $200 gift card or an iPhone 5s for a $300 gift card.  Customers must bring their current iPhone to any Verizon Wireless Communications Store or complete an online request by Tuesday, September 30, or send via mail for receipt by Saturday, November 15 in order to receive the gift card.

And if your carrier is AT&T, this is what they say about getting a FREE iPhone 6:

*Trade-in Offer:  Ends September 30, 2014. Select locations only.  Requires eligible trade-in and purchase of new smartphone on AT&T NextSM or 2-year wireless agreement with qualified service activation. Eligible trade-in: eligible iPhones in good and fully functional condition. Eligible iPhones: iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5c, and 5s. Upgrades: This is not an early upgrade program. Excludes AT&T NextSM Upgrade program trade-ins.Trade-in:  Delete all personal and sensitive information from device’s memory & SIM card.  Certain conditions and restrictions apply. Promo Trade-in Value: $300 value for iPhone 5s and $200 value for other eligible iPhones.

 


Consider Canceling your Cable TV and Getting an HDTV Antenna Instead!

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I have time to watch TV I find myself watching network channels about 75% of the time! I mean who can resist The Good Wife or Parenthood! And I confess that I might on occasion sneak in an episode or two of The Bachelorette ;)  My teenage kids don’t ever even watch TV anymore. They spend their “screen time” on social media sites or streaming their favorite programs online. I have been thinking of just outright canceling my premium cable TV service because it just doesn’t make financial sense to pay so much money for something that I am under utilizing.

The other day I came across an article from The Denver Channel in which they discuss an article written by Consumer Reports. They talk about the option of owning a digital antenna for your TV instead of subscribing to a premium cable service. Their conclusion was that buying an HDTV Antenna like this  $35.99 Ultra-Thin High Performance Indoor HDTV Antenna  or the $35 RadioShack 15-254 a good investment. It seems that it performs very well in most locations and some households were able to pick up 20 TV channels using this item. If you want to check what networks are available in your area, you can consult http://dtv.gov/maps .

Not having cable or satellite TV isn’t for everyone. But it is a definite option if you are trying to cut back on non-essential expenses. And if going cold turkey is just not your thing, an HDTV antenna might just be a great alternative for you!

 


HUGE 2-Day Sale on Apple iPads, Laptops, Accesories and More! (Exp. 9/10)

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

Apple Event Groupon

The price of these Apple iPads, Apple Laptops and iPhone accessories are probably some of the lowest I have seen in quite some time. Groupon is having a HUGE sale on all things Apple (even some items for the new iPhone 6), and this sale is only on for the next 2 days. I was pleasantly surprised to see that many of these items are NEW and a few others are refurbished. Keep in mind that ALL the electronics come with a 1-year Apple warranty, so you can have  peace of mind in case  anything were to go wrong (this manufacturer warranty applies to both new AND refurbished).

Take a look at these low prices on Apple Products:

  • Apple iPad 2 64 GB $359.99 (reg. $419)
  • Apple iPad Mini 64GB $389.99 (reg. $590)
  • iPhone 6 cases $9.99 (reg. $39.99)
  • Apple 13.3″ Macbook Pro $1089.99 (reg. $1199.99)
  • Apple iPad Mini with Wifi and 4G LTE (unlocked) $409.99 (reg. $559.99)

There are so many other items on sale, so be sure to check out this huge Apple Sale before the most popular items sell out!


Huge SanDisk Storage Devices on Sale for up to 60% OFF! (9/8 Only)

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

SanDisk Cruzer 32GB

 

This sale doesn’t happen often, so if you are needing some SD cards or flash drives, look at this sale for  Sandisk Storage Devices that are up to 60% OFF today only on Amazon. The prices are crazy low for this amount of memory. The SanDisk 32GB USB drive is only $11.99 (reg. $48.99) and a SanDisk 32GB MicroSD card is only $14.99 (reg. $48.99).

Check this deal out here! And while you are over there – check out these other great Amazon deals.

The price you see on this post is valid at the time we publish.  However, please keep in mind that Amazon’s prices are known to change without warning  :(

Amazon Prime Shipping:  Lots of items ship FREE with Amazon Prime . If you’re not a Prime member, start your one month free trial today. If you aren’t eligible for the free trial, maybe a relative will share their Prime shipping with you? Head on over here to see if you can get Amazon Prime for just $8.25/month!


WEBROOT Secure Anywhere AntiVirus for your PC or Mac only $19.38! (Install on 3 computers)

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

If you just bought a PC laptop or desk top computer and haven’t yet installed any Anti-Virus software on it, you should consider getting this WEBROOT Secure Anywhere Software. Amazon has it on sale for $19.38 and this Anti-Virus software can be installed on 3 computers and  includes a 1-year subscription. Since  you will downloading this program from a cloud, there are no shipping charges!

In the past I wasn’t very good about keeping my kids’ computers updated against viruses, spyware and trojans. But after learning the lesson the hard way, I now ALWAYS make sure that their computer is up to date with the latest software. The pain and headache of cleaning a computer infected by malware and trojans is something I would rather never experience again!

Check this deal out here! And while you are over there – check out these other great Amazon deals. The price you see on this post is valid at the time we publish.  However, please keep in mind that Amazon’s prices are known to change without warning  :(

Amazon Prime Shipping:  Lots of items ship FREE with Amazon Prime . If you’re not a Prime member, start your one month free trial today. If you aren’t eligible for the free trial, maybe a relative will share their Prime shipping with you? Head on over here to see if you can get Amazon Prime for just $8.25/month!


Samsung Galaxy S5 only $69.99 (Verizon)

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

Samsung Galaxy S 5

I was thrilled last week when my cell phone contract finally allowed me to upgrade my old Samsung Galaxy S3 to the new Samsung Galaxy S5! I had been dealing with a cracked screen, unreliable camera (probably thanks to all the times I’ve dropped my phone) and a bunch of other frustrating issues. I thought I had found a great deal when I bought my new phone at Costco for $99. And then I saw this deal this morning … Radio Shack has the new Samsung Galaxy S5 for only $79.99. And when you sign up for Radio Shack’s special email offers  (look at the bottom of the Radio Shack page to sign up) you will receive a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $25+. Once you apply the additional savings, the final cost of a new Samsung Galaxy S5 will be only $69.99! If you don’t want to sign up for emails, Radio Shack also has a 10% discount available to college students and educators. If you happen to fall into either category, you get an additional 10% OFF the sale price!

As with most cell phone sales, you need to sign up for a two year agreement with Verizon. So if your current contract is up or if you are changing providers or adding another line, this is a great time to get a Galaxy S5. I have only had mine for a week and am already loving it! 

 

 

 


SanDisk 32GB MicroSD card on sale for only $18.83 (reg.$69.99)

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

If you own an Android Smartphone or Tablet, this accessory is something you will  really appreciate once you have it! The SanDisk 32GB MicroSD card is on sale at Amazon for only $18.83 (reg.$69.99). That price reflects a savings of over $50! When you have this memory card in your phone or tablet the storage capacity for photographs, video and music will be drastically improved.  And this memory card includes a Memory Zone app which will simplify file management on your Android-powered device. Having this app means that you can easily view, access, and back up all of your digital files from your phone’s memory, additional memory card, and cloud services in one convenient place. And best of all, this SanDisk MicroSD card comes in “frustration-free” packaging which I totally appreciate :)

  • Up To 30MB/s Read Speed
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Easily Back Up Files With “SanDisk Memory Zone” App
  • Compatible For Android Smartphones & Tablets
  • Class 10 Performance For Full HD Video
  • Includes SD Adapter
The price you see on this post is valid at the time we publish.  However, please keep in mind that Amazon’s prices are known to change without warning.
This item qualifies for FREE 2Day Shipping if you have

 Amazon Prime . If you’re not a Prime member, start your one month free trial today. If you aren’t eligible for the free trial, maybe a relative will share their Prime shipping with you? Head on over here to see if you can get Amazon Prime for just $8.25/month!


I Spy With Lola: Free App of the Day. Great Reviews!

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

If you are looking for a new app for your kids, I Spy with Lola seems like a great choice!  I Spy with Lola is a Word Puzzle game where the player’s task is to find objects on the screen, based on hints that vary between the levels. This game also lets the player get familiar with the World Map and some details of local cultures around the World. This is today’s FREE Amazon App of the day, and it has won awards and has great reviews. Just take a look at this:

Awards:

* Editor’s Choice Award 2013 – Children’s Technology Review
* Best Apps award finalist 2013 – Best App Ever Awards

Reviews:

  •  Famigo – “What a great app! The interface and narration are engaging and easy to use. The feedback during the game and after completing each location is very satisfying and entertaining.”
  • Apps4Kids – 5/5 stars. “The different scenarios provided us with lots of opportunities for conversation and vocabulary-building. “ 
  • The iPhone Mom – “I highly recommend this app to parents of younger children and will definitely be playing this app with my son!” 
  • Top Best Apps for Kids – “Gorgeous graphics and suitable audio music for each country. New & free places have been announced. No In-app purchases! Fantastic. Kids can learn while exploring the world and it’s objects.”

I love it when an app is so educational and well made and you feel like the kids are actually learning something and not just wasting their time on an electronic game. And since it’s free, why not give it a try!


FREE iPhone and iPad User Guides

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

I think my kids are tired of me asking them “So how do I do X, Y, Z …on my phone?”. And I really feel the generation gap when they take my phone from me, do whatever I asked them to do in 5 seconds, and then hand me the phone back and say “there, like that”! I pretend to understand what they did but honestly, most of the time, I have NO clue. So if you can relate to that scenario, you will be delighted to know that Apple has user guides for iPhones and iPads available online. These user guides are available as a free download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer.

These instruction manuals for iPhone and iPad cover everything you ever wanted to know about your device.  The iPhone guide covers models 5s, 5c, 5, 4s and 4 and the iPad guide covers iPad mini, iPad Air, iPad 2, and iPad. They will allow you to get maximum use of all the features available on your electronics and I bet you are going to find some cool things that you had no idea existed! Can’t wait to learn something new and ask my kids “So did you know you can do THIS on your phone?”. I’m going to love the look on their face  ;) 


FREE iPhone 5S at Radio Shack w/ trade in

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

Free iphone 5s

Have you been holding out to upgrade your old Iphone to an Apple iPhone 5S? If so, this might just be the time to do it! Radio Shack is offering a $100 Gift card when you turn in any working iPhone and with a qualifying 2 year plan. This $100 gift card can be used to purchase the iPhone 5S which Radio Shack is currently selling for $99. And if you don’t have a phone to turn in, you can always buy the 5S for $99 which is a great deal considering it retails for $199 at most other places. As always, you should read the fine print to make sure that you are OK with all the terms and conditions.


Picture Keeper: This USB Finds and Stores the Pictures from Your Computer’s Hard Drive!

This post may contain an affiliate link. Click for the full disclosure.

Picture Keeper

While some collections — like your epic shoe stash — take up a ton of physical space, your photo library can eat up a lot of limited hard drive space. And if your hard drive crashed, those memories would disappear in an instant. Safely store all your prized snapshots and enjoy peace of mind with Picture Keeper. The price starts at only $15 (reg.$30).

It’s as simple as inserting a USB drive into your computer. The program will automatically find all the pictures you have in your hard drive and save them for you. It will also recognize duplicates and will not save them twice. I can’t wait to try this product because I have so many pictures scattered in different folders and I can see where this gadget will be a big time saver for me! I think it also makes a neat present for someone who already has everything (I bet you they don’t have this!).

There are several options for the Picture Keeper depending on how many photos you want to store:

• $15 ($30 value) for the STARTER edition that holds up to 4,000 photos
• $30 ($60 value) for the HOME edition that holds up to 8,000 photos
• $50 ($100 value) for the two-pack HOME edition that holds up to 8,000 photos each
• $45 ($100 value) for the XL HOME edition that holds up to 16,000 photos

Shipping is a flat rate of $6.95. This deal is another great deal from Living Social.